Without Lou Williams and Greivis Vasquez, a lot has been made about the Toronto Raptors loss of three-point shooting heading into this season. However, any concerns may have been overblown. The free agent acquisition of DeMarre Carrol added a player who has been hoisting more than 4 three-point shots per game over the past two seasons and has been picking up pointers from none other than three-point specialist Kyle Korver.
“Three-point shooting has been my forte for the past two years,” Carroll told Pro Bball Report. “That’s something I really took upon myself to try and get better at and become one of the top three-point shooters. You know I had a teacher in Kyle Korver, so that’s not too bad of a teacher. So, I just have to continue to keep shooting the ball, keep doing my mechanics and let the rest take care of itself.”
Carroll didn’t come into the NBA as a long distance threat. Over his first four seasons he only attempted 95 three-point shots and he connected on a dismal 28.4 percent of them. However, things were about to change when he joined up with Korver and the Atlanta Hawks. To fill the role of a “3-and-D” specialist, Carroll needed a crash course in long range shooting and he got it.
That first month in Atlanta looked pretty rough from the three-point line. Carroll hoisted 3.4 three-point attempts per game and only connected on 30.6 percent of them, but he didn’t give up on it and learned the lessons necessary that have turned him into a reliable long range threat.
“I think the biggest thing is confidence and repetition,” Carroll said. “I go in the gym at night and get up a lot of shots. When I see it go through the net, I always think the next one is going through the net. My biggest thing is to just keep shooting. You might have some games go 1-5, but the next game you might have 5-5. So the biggest thing for me is the shots you don’t take you already missed in my mind. The biggest thing for me is to just keep shooting.”
Carroll shot 37.9 percent from deep after November 2013 and the next season he shot 39.5 percent from beyond the arc on over 300 attempts. He kept shooting and he hasn’t stopped.
Through his first five games in Toronto, Carroll has taken up right from where he left off in Atlanta hoisting 22 three-pointers and connecting on 8 of them. Toronto has moved Terrence Ross and his three-point shooting to the bench and the Raptors are averaging 20 long range bombs and connecting on 39 percent which puts them comfortably in the top half of the Association for three-point makes. Maybe the Raptors should send Korver a thank you card?